The Coast News Group

Planning Commission OKs 314 housing units in Rancho Del Oro

OCEANSIDE — The Planning Commission approved the development of a mix of 314 tri-plex, five-plex and single-family homes in the Rancho Del Oro master plan area Dec. 21.

The vote was 5-2 with Commission Chair Louise Balma and Commissioner Dennis  Martinek voting no.

Balma said she objected to the tight site layout, and lack of high-quality finishes and recreational open space in the Vista at Rancho del Oro Village XII Pacific Ridge project. She said while city regulations were followed the homes were oriented in such close proximity you could see what your neighbor was eating for breakfast.

A year and a half ago development of high-end apartments was planned for the 28-acre hilltop site west of College Boulevard and north of Old Grove Road. Balma said a walking trail and high-quality finishes were included in the design plans.

The development approved on Dec. 21 lacked those elements.

Balma said the approved development is OK, but not great.

She said with few sites left to develop she wants the best for the city.

“That property is on top of a beautiful view corridor in Rancho del Oro,” Balma said. “I didn’t want to shortchange Oceanside. It wasn’t the best use of the property.”

City Planner Jeff Hunt said development plans were approved with no community comments for or against the project.

He added neighboring homeowners are likely to be more receptive to the 72 standalone homes included in the approved plan than the previously proposed apartment rental units.

Hunt said several commissioners gave the development plans kudos for good design.

“One commissioner spoke to the architecture being lovely,” Hunt said. “Another spoke to the variety of design and said it was a great project.”

Hunt added the development provides a variety of housing, and helps fulfill the city’s need for housing at different affordability levels.

Units range from 786-square-feet, 1 bed, 1 bath condominiums, to 1,399-square-feet, 3 bed, 2 bath homes, that sport Spanish, Tuscan and craftsman layouts.

Plans include five community recreation areas with a shared pool, tot lot, barbecue area, dog run and viewing areas.

The project is part of the Rancho Del Oro master plan that spans more than 1,950 acres.

Site land use was changed from office sites to residential development in 2006.

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